In this vivid memoir, Silviu Brucan traces half a century of East European history, bringing to life the drama of a generation caught between the 1944 communist revolution and the 1989 anti-communist revolution. Brucan himself was at the heart of political power from World War II through the formation of a new government after the overthrow of Nicolae Ceaußescu. After participating in the antifascist underground movement in World War II, he became acting editor of Romania's leading communist daily. He served as Romania's ambassador to the United States and then as its ambassador to the United Nations. He later grew disenchanted with the Ceaußescu regime, becoming a prime mobilizer of popular support for reform and subsequently one of the leaders of the National Salvation Front. Brucan's insider position gave him a unique perspective on the inner workings of the Gheorghiu-Dej and Ceaußescu regimes as well as of the political machinations of Soviet and other East European leaders. He reveals for the first time the details–available nowhere else–of secret meetings between communist leaders: the 1944 conspiracy with King Michael against the German occupation; the extraordinary 1945 meeting between Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej and Joseph Stalin when the Soviet dictator decided that Gheorghiu-Dej and not Ana Pauker should lead the Romanian Communist Party; the secret mission assigned to Gheorghiu-Dej by Nikita Khrushchev during the 1956 revolution to install János Kádár as leader of the communist party; the 1958 Khrushchev-Gheorghiu-Dej meeting after a bear hunt in the Carpathians, which appeared to be a chat between two canny old peasants but concluded with Khrushchev's decision to withdraw Soviet troops from Romania; and Ceaußescu's astute maneuver to seize power while Gheorghiu-Dej was on his deathbed. Brucan then recounts the real story behind the 1989 revolution, which was rooted in earlier plots to overthrow Ceaußescu. He traces his own memorable transformation from staunch communist to outspoken critic of the regime, weaving his own story within the larger framework of his country's transformation and hopes for the future.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- What Made Him Flee -- The Origins of Social Revolt -- A Unique Historical Event: Conspiracy Between King and Communists -- The Stalinist Faith -- The National Backlash -- The Two Faces of Communist Society -- Red Diplomat in Washington -- The Illiterate Couple -- The Prelude of the Romanian Revolution -- The Inside Story of the Revolution -- The Day After ... -- Epilogue -- International Perspectives: A Collection of Media and Policy Discussion -- Prominent Romanians